TitaniumGeek




People say that size counts, normally meaning bigger is better. But in the world of electronics, that rule gets turned on it’s heads with people trying to shrink products as much as possible. The question comes when dealing with sports electronics, can you go too far?

With that in mind, lets take a look at Garmin’s micro GPS, the Garmin Edge 25

There has been a slight hiatus at TitaniumGeek as I have prepared for my exam, which I sat a few days ago.

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So whilst that’s out of the way (results pending), lets get back to looking at some of the kit I’ve been using! – Starting with the Garmin Edge 25.


The Garmin Edge series has always been a relatively “regular” size group of products. Not too big, and not too small. Spanning from the eternally loved Garmin 500/510, up to the 800 Touring. Differing products, different targets and different sizes, all makes sense so far

Then Garmin released the Edge 1000, a beast of a device. Aimed more at the road biker, than touring, with advanced power fields and displays. Now Garmin have pushed the other extreme out of the door, the Garmin Edge 25.

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A device which when you initially look at it, appears as if someone has forgotten to put the strap back on one of their running watches, especially as the Garmin Edge 25 nearly matches the Fenix 3 for width

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Have Garmin shrunk things a little too much here people might ask? Let’s see

Garmin Edge 25 Design

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It’s a box! A successful box, if nothing else Garmin have managed to NAIL making boxes.

Hold on…There is nothing in here! Well actually there is, but you have to ferret to find it!

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There is a whole lotta box here for, almost no product! Maybe Garmin could like a little more about their boxing strategy?

We joke we jest, there are other things in the box

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So in the box, we’ve the usual gubbins.
– The unit, when you’ve found it in the box
– Another unit specific contact charger – please for the love of my cable box STANDARDISE GARMIN PLEASE!!!
– A Garmin Quarter turn mount
– A series of rubber bands to attach things,
– Obligatory manuals

So looking at the Garmin Edge 25 unit it’s self. It’s small. I mean really small

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And light as well, coming in at a negligible 25g

We’ve a monotone screen – which works well on a device this size.

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It would probably add unnecessary weight and cost to add a colour display here, and it’s just not needed. The screen is evenly lit with white LEDs and is easily discernible at a glance when using the unit.

No touch screen on the Garmin Edge 25 – will all functions controlled through four white buttons on the size of the unit.

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Yes you can see them easily, but as a personal point, I’m not a fan of white plastic on devices where there is a reasonable chance that you’re going to be interesting with the device with possibly muddy/dirty/oil fingers – no one can predict a broken chain link!

Staying with the white plastic, when you turn the unit over, the back is all white plastic as is the Garmin quarter turn mount.

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I think you can really get an idea how compact the engineers have managed to make the Garmin Edge 25, in that they have to use a cut down quarter turn mount on the back of the device!

Also on the back on the metal contact pads for the USB charger.

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The charging cable also functions as a dock, with a piece of rubber on the back of the clasp. It makes for a very effective and functional charging combination. If we are going to have propriety chargers on every device. Then it’s important that we get a clear benefit from it, as we do with the Edge 25.

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The Garmin mount comes with two rubber grommets to allow you to use it on thin, or thick stems or bars

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I’m not a great fan of mounting devices on a bike stem, I find them to be out of my eye line. I’d almost think it better for Garmin to let you choose an out front, or stem mount. But as that might affect the stock being carried, just reduce the price and not include the mount?

However I can see why an out front mount isn’t included… Mounted on my K-Edge stem… It just looks a little daft! The unit is just too small! It barely covers the actual mounting plate!

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If you want to get another view as to how minute this thing is, stick it next to the Edge 1000, it looks almost like a pet for the larger device

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Device specification

– GPS inc GLONASS compatibility
– Bluetooth – sync only, not smart notification
– Speed and distance from GPS – this is really what you paying for in the 25
– ANT – allowing you to add speed, cadence and HR sensors – no power meter connection however
– GPS based directional indications through Garmin Course navigation
– 8 Hours of battery life
– Goal based workouts (i.e. time/distance/calories)
– Personal Records (i.e. longest ride)
– IPX7 waterproofing
– Weight 25

As you’ve noted, the Garmin Edge 25 doesn’t have Wifi, so you are reliant on either USB, or pairing with your phone to get access to Garmin Connect. Connecting is certainly a very painless affair regardless of your opinion of the Connect app

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The connection to your phone allows one of Garmin’s great safety features – LiveTrack – so someone can follow your progress, and if you have a mishap, know where to pick you up from. The Garmin Edge 25 can also keep the bluetooth connection throughout your ride, and flash up texts and calls as they come in, but the screen is again VERY small.

Using the Garmin Edge 25

Whilst you can show several lines of text on the screen, which which you are riding can show a max of three pieces of data at a time,

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I personally found one or two lines to be the best for quick glance riding, simply as the device is so small

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You can opt to display: Distance, Speed, Av Speed, Calories, Cadence, and Ascent – but as mentioned, power isnt possible to measure

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  • YES THE PEDALS ARE AWAKE!

The GPS can be disabled and the Garmin Edge 25 used inside if you have a compatible speed and cadence sensor – Vectors will give the cadence here though

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Similarly you can also set different hear rate zones and alerts, which makes the Garmin Edge 25 at simple, but effective training tool – paired here with the Mio Velo

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This is probably a good time to point out that the Garmin Edge 25 doesnt support Bluetooth sensors. Even though is seems to push you to hold the sensor together with the unit, in the way you can on bluetooth compatible products like the Polar V800

Garmin tries to convince there is some form of navigation, but it’s actually a bit of a cop out unfortunately

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There is no navigation data stored within the Garmin Edge 25 – each course must be loaded from Garmin Connect

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You have to create a Garmin Connect course, which is then loaded onto the device.

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When things are finally loaded you don’t get actual “Turn Left/Right” instructions, but instead directions to way points, in terms of follow the arrow direction – ish. “Ish” as the Garmin Edge 25 can get a little jumpy at times – both pictures, stopped at the same junction within about 45 secs of each other…

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I think I’ll just follow my nose!

But to be fair, in a device of this size and cost, I view course navigation as an additional, not a major feature.

Conclusion

The Garmin Edge 25 is a REALLY small device, but I do wonder if it looses out somewhat with that size? The monochrome screen is great in the harsh light than can fade out many of the colour displays, but at the same time, I wonder if it would have been better to aim for a slightly larger screen?

I think the Garmin Edge 25 is certainly a great backup device. Perhaps a starting GPS, but from a road perspective, I think people will grow out of it fairly quickly. The inclusion of LiveTrack I think is the feature that pulls bonus points compared to other similarly sized units. Making me think of this as a very good device for use on mountain bikes trails, where you dont WANT a huge device dominating your bars, but want to record your efforts. Plus the navigations directions are more useful there, and as mentioned, you’ve always got a watching friend – assuming you have any friends!

With that, back next week!

 

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James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. Feel free to drop me a line about sports tech, medicine, or frankly anything that you want to chat about!!